Chapter One

He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me gently into his body, his blue eyes looking at me so intensely my knees shook. I couldn't help but smile as he gently took my hand in his and wrapped his arm around my waist. I could feel the heat in my cheeks as the music began and he took a sweeping step to the side. My feet instinctively followed his as I watched his tongue sweep gently across his lips. I shuddered, and he could tell. His hand pressed firmly against my back as we sashayed across the dance floor. My body shook as I exhaled slowly, trying to stop a small satisfied sigh escaping my lips. Even under his mask I could see his handsome face, his blonde hair fell gently over his forehead and he smelt musky and strong. His large hands were warm against my nervous sweaty palms. The room grew quiet and I knew this was the moment. The moment I had dreamed of for so long. His head turned slowly to the side and my pulse began to race. I saw his soft pink lips part and I closed my eyes. I could feel my heart in my mouth as he moved closer to me, his perfect lips about to meet mine. He was only millimeters away now; I could feel his breath on my face. It was so warm and sweet – I was dying in anticipation.

My shoulder shook vigorously as my forehead smacked something hard.

"Owe!" I screeched, rubbing the sore spot. "What the hell?" My eyes swept my surroundings, I had been dreaming again.

"We're almost there." My mother said sternly, obviously annoyed she had to have anything to do with me. I wiped the drool off the side of my chin and sat up, groggily rubbing my eyes. It took me a moment to realize what exactly was going on. I rested my sore head against the window again as the realization came flooding back.

It was the beginning of the summer and I was being shipped off to live on a ranch for "Troubled Teens". A 'safe haven for teens'; I shuddered as I remembered the brochure. I wasn't even a troubled teen – that was the most ridiculous part. I knew why I was going; my parents didn't want to deal with me for two months and this was cheaper than real summer camp. I had begged and pleaded with them not to send me away, I would even get a job and give them the money. My head smacked into the window as we went over a bump, turning onto a rocky dirt road. I winced in pain, but didn't care enough to stop resting my face on the window. I had heard them speaking to the administration about me; I skipped classes, nearly dropped out of high school, did drugs every day in the backyard. Then my mother began weeping dramatically as she emphasized with desperation the last two words; sexually active. It was really the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard, I had never even had a boyfriend before! My stomach did a few more jumps before we finally pulled up in front of a large house. It was the stereotypical farmhouse, a large wrap around porch, a small porch light, a swinging bench and a few rocking chairs. It was too hard to really see it this late at night.

I slowly crawled out of the backseat of the car, squeezing my Bunkie Bear tightly to my chest. My parents were not even trying to hide their smiles. I pulled my suitcases out of the backseat and lugged them single handedly to the door; grunting and groaning the entire time. I felt something squish against the bottom of my shoe.

"Oh gross!" I whined, my nose giving away what the present I stepped on was. My white shoes were now brown, and there was no way I could get this smell out anytime soon.

My arms burned as I pulled them up the third step and threw them down onto the porch. My Mother's high heels clicked loudly in the silence as she elegantly stepped onto the porch; the image of a perfectly-perfect bitch. I growled in anger, refusing to do anything further to assist them in dumping me off. My Father shoved his large hands inside his pockets and looked at me expectantly.

"Well knock in the door darling." He smiled, his perfectly bleached white teeth incredibly obvious under the single porch light. They were really acting tonight, just in case someone was watching. I scowled at him and stood my ground. There was no way I was doing this. I was not staying in this hell hole.

"See my love," my mother cooed. "This is exactly why we were right to bring her here." She wrapped her stick thin arm around my Father's. "Opposition to authority." I felt her long nails dug into my tricep as she pinched me. "Knock!" I hesitantly turned towards the door, my eyes welling with tears. That pinch really hurt. I pulled back the storm door that creaked so loudly it hurt my ears, and knocked three times on the thick dark brown door. I could hear the footsteps inside as someone stumbled roughly towards the door. It slowly opened; I could see the outline a young man. I squinted trying to see who was answering the door. He stepped onto the porch into the light. I gasped in shock.

He was tall, may be six feet, with broad shoulders. I glanced quickly as his forearms, almost fainting at the sight. They were thick and defined. I looked into his eyes; they were piercing green with chunks of blonde hair that fell in front of them. His jaw was thick and broad. He was gorgeous.

"Can I help you?" He scowled, his eyes narrowing in on mine. I whimpered, not knowing what to say to him. My Father stepped forward, his large brown hand grabbing the handsome young man's.

"My name is Mr. Ahmed, this is my wife Sherice and my daughter Samira."

"Ethan." His voice was deep and smooth. I continued to stand with my mouth open, staring at him.

My Father continued, "She will be here for the summer. I know it's late, but we're going out of town tonight." My Father pushed me inside roughly and I stumbled forward, almost falling on top of Ethan. I picked up my suitcases and struggled inside the house. I glanced back over my shoulder,

"Bye Mom and –" I stopped myself. They were already back in the car. "Uh, excuse me?" I muttered, following Ethan into the living room. He spun around slowly. "Where, uh, where do I sleep?" He shrugged his shoulders.

"What's that's smell?" He stared right into my brown eyes. He looked so good it almost hurt.

"I stepped in something outside."

"Sure," He scoffed. "There is a shower here, by the way. Make use of it." He quickly strode out of the room. His exit was bitter sweet.

"Great," I mumbled, throwing my body down on the couch. "Just freaking great."